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RDDCTM2024-2025 Rare Disease Fellowship Program Application

The Rare Diseases Diversity Coalition (RDDC) is excited to invite applications for the 2024-25 Rare Disease Fellowship Program.

RDDC Opportunities

About the Fellowship

The Rare Disease Diversity Coalition (RDDC) is launching its Rare Disease Fellowship to inspire the next generation of medical professionals to work in the rare disease space, particularly addressing health disparities among people of color with rare diseases. The Fellowship, spanning from September 2024 to February 2025, involves matching fellows with rare disease organizations. It is open to undergraduates, medical students, early-career physicians, nurses, and researchers interested in rare disease disparities among communities of color. Priority consideration goes to individuals from underserved, underrepresented, low-income, rural-living, marginalized populations, and communities of color. Sabbatical is not required, and fellows must present final projects to the RDDC steering committee. Fellows engage in various activities, including exploring rare disease characteristics, assessing patient diversity efforts, establishing community relationships, and addressing barriers to participation in research. The six-month program includes a virtual orientation, monthly learning sessions, and a $15,000 stipend for participating fellows. The RDDC promotes diversity, inclusion, and leadership opportunities within the medical space through this initiative.

Application Completeness

Please note that all questions in this application are mandatory. We understand that there may be instances where applicants prefer not to answer certain questions. In such cases, you may select the "prefer not to say" option provided.

However, it is imperative to complete all sections of the application for it to qualify as a submission. Failure to respond to all questions will result in disqualification of the application from review or may impact the scoring by reviewers. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Application Integrity

The RDDC Rare Disease Fellowship Application prioritizes authenticity and personal insight, and we encourage applicants to refrain from using AI to ensure their unique voices and experiences illuminate the diverse fellowship cohort. Avoiding AI ensures your individuality shines through, contributing to a diverse fellowship cohort. Your genuine voice, passion, and unique experiences matter. This approach is pivotal, reflecting your commitment to the rare disease space. Demonstrating the ability to express yourself authentically not only strengthens your application but also showcases how you'll show up in the rare disease community – with sincerity, understanding, and a genuine connection to those facing rare diseases. This application process is a reflection of your potential impact in making a difference in the lives of individuals affected by rare diseases. 

Privacy and Confidentiality

RDDC values your privacy and is committed to ensuring a secure and comfortable application process for all candidates. When you submit your application, we may gather certain information to thoroughly evaluate your qualifications and preferences. Rest assured, your data is utilized exclusively for the purpose of assessing your candidacy for the specific opportunity you are pursuing.

We may utilize this information to meticulously review your qualifications, keep you informed about the progress of your application, and explore potential matches for other relevant positions within our organization. Your submission of the application signifies your consent to the collection and utilization of your data as outlined in this policy.

Fellowship Overview:

  • Duration: Six months
  • Purpose: To foster collaboration between rare disease organizations and fellows, and enhance understanding of the health impacts of specific diseases on communities of color.
  • Awareness: Fellows will gain a deeper awareness of the challenges faced by individuals living with rare diseases.

Fellowship Highlights:

  • Collaborative Learning: Work closely with a rare disease organization to gain firsthand insights into the health impacts of specific rare diseases on communities of color.
  • Personal Development: Enhance personal and professional growth by contributing to initiatives addressing rare disease disparities.
  • Six-Month Immersion: Be matched with a rare disease organization for a transformative six-month period.


The RDDC Rare Disease Fellowship Program is open to:

  • Undergraduates
  • Medical students
  • Early-career physicians
  • Nurses
  • Medical researchers with less than five years of practice
  • Medical or nursing residents

Priority Consideration:

Individuals from underrepresented and underserved communities, including those with disabilities or living with a rare disease, will be given priority consideration.

Application Process:

  1. Submit Your Application: Share your passion for addressing rare disease disparities and your interest in contributing to health equity. 
  2. Selection Process: Candidates will undergo a thorough selection process based on commitment, experience, and potential impact.
  3. Matching: Once accepted, fellows will be thoughtfully matched with a rare disease organization aligned with their goals and interests.


  • Fellowship Application begins in April 2024
  • Fellowship Period: Six months, spanning from September 2024-January 2025 (Pending availability of the candidate and host site)

Application Deadline:

Application Deadline: May 28, 2024, at 11:59 pm EST

The RDDC is a partnership of rare disease experts, patient and provider organizations, and health equity advocates working to address the extraordinary challenges faced by rare disease patients of diverse communities. It is committed to being a catalyst for rare disease patients who have been marginalized and the extraordinary challenges they face, seeking solutions on diversity in research and clinical trials, in the healthcare workforce, in policy and legislation, improving access and coverage, and increasing provider and patient engagement. RDDC seeks to identify and advocate for evidenced-based solutions to alleviate the disproportionate burden of rare diseases on these communities and help achieve greater equity within the rare disease community. 

Apply Today

Join us in making a difference in the rare disease community. Apply today to be part of this transformative experience! If you prefer to complete a pdf application, download it here and return the application to